It debuted in 1993 and is still going strong today. You can’t say that about many coin series, if any, but the Central Bank of Russia has managed just that feat with its nature-focussed Red Book Data series. It hasn’t been a half-hearted release run either, with a bulging selection of over 60 coins now available. Until 2008, the CBR issued three coins per annum, moving to a biannual release until 2016. There were no coins in 2018, however, leading us to believe that the series had run its course.As the subject matter of Red Book Data is critically endangered species, it would be nice t know they’d simply run out of subjects, but that would be overly optimistic, of course. After an extra years gap, the series is back with a new trio.
The coins are produced in sterling (0.925) silver, having made the jump from 0.900 fineness in 2005. Weighing in at half-ounce, they remain cleanly struck and free of modification.In a market filled with tech-pushing designs, it’s great to see some classic coins at reasonable prices still finding a place with collectors. The subjects are all drawn from a Russian state publication called the Red Data Book, which records rare and endangered species of animals, plants and fungi, as well as some local subspecies that exist within the territory of the Russian Federation and its continental shelf and marine economic zone. Sadly, but unsurprisingly, there are plenty of entrants, although to its credit, Russia is making progress.
The CBR likes to do a mixed selection each time and that is again the case in 2019. A fish (Beluga), a bird (Ibis) amd a mammal )Amur Leopard) make up this new annual addition to this epic series. The artwork in each case is really quite excellent, with a fine depiction of the animal subjects. Like the 2016 coins, they maintain a consistent style with a lot of appeal, especially to nature lovers who prefer realism over the more stylistic approach.Each coin comes in a capsule with a Certificate of Authenticity and are available to order now.